A 22-year-old from the Eastern Cape will have a double celebration after achieving Cum Laude and the Dean’s Merit Award in Taxation for the second time in a row.
Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Sisipho Sonjica will be graduating Cum Laude and obtaining the prestigious Dean’s Merit Award in Taxation at DUT’s Virtual Autumn graduation on Friday, 13th of May 2022.
Sonjica’s journey at DUT began in 2018, where she enrolled in National Diploma in Taxation. She graduated Cum Laude and received the Dean’s Merit Award at the online DUT Graduation ceremony which was held in May 2021 for her National Diploma in Taxation.
Last year, 2021, she enrolled pursue her studies for her Advanced Diploma in Taxation and was speechless to be graduating again with Cum Laude and to receive another Dean’s Merit Award.
It really came as a shock to her, as she believes that her Advanced Diploma journey was the hardest.
Due to financial difficulties, Sonjica was studying from home not at res when she was doing her Advanced Diploma in Taxation.
The transition of staying at res to moving back home really hit hard on her because it was something she had never done before. Since she was studying from home, studying was not the only thing on her plate, she had to juggle loads of household activities as well as academics, being ordered around, and being sent to the shop while attending her online classes.
Sonjica had lot of commitments, so she encountered many challenges when it came to balancing her personal life and academics.
Sonjica recalls how devastated she was when she obtained 40% in one of her tests, and that was something entirely foreign to her because she always works very hard to obtain good grades. At some point she even wanted to deregister because of the pressure that she came across, but she stood her ground and believed that she is going to make it no matter what.
Sonjica had already counted her pass mark average and knew that she was somewhat going to graduate Cum Laude even before the University sent out the results but obtaining a Deans Merit Award was really a surprise to her.
“I honestly did not picture that, I was utterly stunned and amazed. My sister found out first that I am graduating Cum Laude and obtaining the Deans Merit Award again and she had her jaw to the floor. It was an exciting moment for the whole family,” said Sonjica.
For Sonjica, Taxation was not her first choice of study as she had hoped to study Internal Auditing or Accounting but was accepted into Taxation.
“I was not even aware of what Taxation was offering, I merely applied for it to fill spaces in my CAO application form. I had no other choice but to take it so I enrolled and told myself I will change it. When it was time to change it, I could not because I had already fallen in love with it. At first it wasn’t my first choice but now definitely it is, without a doubt,” she said.
Sonjica initially planned on doing her Honours in Taxation this year, but she could not do so because of an outstanding debt, however she vows to do it in 2023.
“To the first-year-students who would like to enrol for their studies in Taxation. I’ll tell them to put more effort in their studies and aim for the moon. For every test know what you are aiming for in terms of understanding and performance. I can tell you now, you will need all that you have learnt in the real world of work” said Sonjica.
This year Sonjica is currently doing her internship at Ragan Van Rooy.
Pictured: Sisipho Sonjica.